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Madison County School System Sees Reading Gains in Elementary Schools, Expands Fast ForWord Program to Middle Schools


Richard S. Cheng 
Scientific Learning Corp. 
[email protected]

OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After implementing the Fast ForWord® program in 17 elementary schools and seeing average reading level gains of seven months in only 35 days of use, the Madison County School System (MCSS) in Alabama has expanded the program to its middle schools. Developed by Scientific Learning Corp. (OTC PINK:SCIL), the evidence-based Fast ForWord program targets the root causes of reading difficulty in the brain.

Madison County Schools in Alabama is expanding its use of the #FastForWord #reading program after seeing reading level gains of 7 months in only 35 days of use. Tweet this

MCSS, one of the largest school systems in Alabama, launched the Fast ForWord program in fall 2019 to provide a systemic, research-proven approach to reading intervention. The reading and language program also supports the district’s efforts to address the Alabama Literacy Act and ensure that all students are reading on grade level by the end of grade 3.

“We weren’t simply looking for a reading intervention that works; we wanted to know what works best. All of our research and conversations with other schools led us to the Fast ForWord program,” said Tim Solley, assistant superintendent of instruction and academic accountability for MCSS. “The Fast ForWord program helps students develop the foundational cognitive skills that are essential to reading and learning. We felt that helping them with skills like memory, attention, and processing would be beneficial to their learning in any subject and have a greater impact on achievement. Our data so far has supported that belief.”

In MCSS, the Fast ForWord program is used by selected students in grades K-8 for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. It is a two-in-one reading and brain training program that targets the skills that are core to reading. It is also the only reading program with a virtual personal reading tutor that provides real-time, corrective feedback as students read aloud.

“Our first semester data showed an average of seven months of reading growth for students after only seven weeks of using the Fast ForWord program. On the STAR Assessments®, we have seen similar growth,” said Solley. “The Fast ForWord program is not only impacting reading, but student learning across the board. It’s helping our advanced students, too. Their achievement has increased as well as the achievement of our struggling students.”

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